MULTICRITERIA ANALYSIS FOR IDENTIFYING FOREST FIRE RISK ZONES IN THE BIOLOGICAL RESERVE OF THE SAMA CORDILLERA, BOLIVIA
- Centro de Investigación en Agua, Energía y Sostenibilidad, Department of Environmental Engineering, Universidad Católica Boliviana “San Pablo”, La Paz, Bolivia
Keywords: Protected area, Difference Normalized Burn Index
Abstract. Forest fires have negative effects on biodiversity, the atmosphere and human health. The paper presents a spatial risk model as a tool to assess them. Risk areas refer to sectors prone to the spread of fire, in addition to the influence of human activity through remote sensing and multi-criteria analysis. The analysis includes information on land cover, land use, topography (aspect, slope and elevation), climate (temperature and precipitation) and socio-economic factors (proximity to settlements and roads). Weights were assigned to each in order to generate the forest fire risk map. The investigation was carried for a Biological Reserve in Bolivia because of the continuous occurrence of forest fires. Five risk categories for forest fires were derived: very high, high, moderate, low and very low. In summary, results suggest that approximately 67% of the protected area presents a moderate to very high risk; in the latter, populated areas are not dense which reduces the actual risk to the type of events analyzed.